I need your advice!

bugbiteMarch 11, 2014

I finally decided to rewire my entire house because insurance companies won't insure.
I had 4 bids: $15,000, $12,000, $8,000 and $5,000.
The one I trust most is the company for $8,000.
But I decided go with a fifth company. It is a highly rated large company which charges by the hour.
He sounds like it will be a little less than $8,000. But that's not the reason I am going with him. His company is big enough to pay for any damage if a guy falls through the roof, plus he has a crew that specializes in rewiring.
Any tips on how to keep from getting ripped off. I am retired and will be home all the time. I will try to do most of the hole cutting. I already have several holes cut to speed access and know how to get to most tough locations in this 2 story house. Each day cost $520 for the crew, so an extra 2 days is $1040 extra or 2 days shaved is $1040 saved.
I am thinking of offering a bonus to the 2 workers. $200 each if you finish in 2 weeks. (Company bidding $8,000 said two weeks.) $100 each, if you slightly go over two weeks. Of course if they show they saved me a couple of days but went over I would still give them $200 extra. Are bonuses, ethical? Any other bonus ideas?

What other tips?

This post was edited by bugbite on Tue, Mar 11, 14 at 15:25

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Usually the bid is the price and if they get done sooner you still pay the bid price. I would be very careful if they are giving you a price and saying it may be more if they go over 2 weeks. Old work is tricky and sometimes you might think something is easy and its really not. I've had some that I thought would take a few hours and they took a day or two. It sounds like he may have bid low to get the job and plans on the extras, there are alot of people out there that do that, be careful. Also just cause a company is bigger doesn't mean they are better. All companies have insurance and can cover any accidents like falling through a roof.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Thanks Niick,
Sorry I didn't make myself clear. I am going with a company that charges by the hour. Not one of the fixed bids.
I know this is risky. That's why the bonus for early completion.
Off the subject: The city built a bridge that would have taken about 2 years at the normal snails pace. They offered the contractor a $2 million bonus if they did it in 4 months. They completed it in 4 months.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 3:24PM
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Just because a company is big, it doesn't mean they can and will automatically take care of any damage they cause. Make sure they have liability insurance.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:28PM
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The only prob with the bonus to finish early is that the work is going to take as long as it takes if you start rushing them you will get rushed work they may even cut some corners to get done early to get the bonus.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 6:37PM
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If you want to save them time, stay out of their way. Do not get involved thinking it will help. If they are professionals who do this on a regular basis, they already have proven methods to accomplish the work. An unskilled hand, no matter how well intentioned, will just clog up the machine. Also, if you haven't already signed a contract, I would seriously reconsider hiring out this job out on a contract price to protect your financial interest.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 9:42PM
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All great advice. Thanks!

    Bookmark   March 11, 2014 at 10:01PM
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There is an excellent article that covers many of your concerns here: http://www.sheknows.com/home-and-gardening/articles/1002949/verify-a-contractors-insurance-to-prevent-unexpected-costs

If a contractor shows any reservations about your communicating with his insurance agent re his insurance, move on.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2014 at 6:15PM
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